1960’s America in response to the Vietnam War and civil rights movements, questioned which companies to invest in. Through to the 1980’s where climate concerns arose with nuclear plant accidents and oil shipping disasters highlighted how shareholders could exert pressure on company policy.
From the 1970’s through to the 1990’s this pressure on fund managers to avoid investing in South African companies is cited as one factor in ending the apartheid regime.
More recently, the financial crisis in 2008/09 which nearly bankrupted entire economies, highlighted the need for investors as long term owners of banking institutions to call for robust governance.
Fast forward to the last decade and policy initiatives by 10 Downing Street, the White House, and the Vatican, have highlighted to companies and business leaders to look at new technologies and consider how they interact with the environment and community in which they operate.